Friday, February 17, 2012

Lots of packages!

My mailman and the UPS driver are becoming very well acquainted with our house. 

Stitching stuff

I participated in a Valentine's Bookmark exchange with ILCS.  Yesterday, I received my Valentine's bookmark from Marta.

They are soooo true!  I sent this bookmark to Marta:

In ESC, we did a Valentine's exchange.  This is the package I got yesterday from Sue:

Sue also included in my package a wonderful coloring activity book for Mariah.  She loved it and whenever she needed a break from schoolwork yesterday she worked on the first page.  By the end of the day, this was her result:

I spent most of yesterday crocheting a pile of headbands.  One of my crocheting groups has a woman who travels to Africa 2x a year and takes a trunk full of small items for children. The owner of the group shared this pattern and we all crocheted a few.  Michelle's trunk will be overflowing!

We're going green and downsizing!

Last month, Rich & I made a decision to cut a bunch of expenses.   I will be starting my student teaching within the next couple of years and unless I also want to work a night job, we're going to have to be able to live on his SS. 

Step 1:  DirecTv.  When our contract expired in November, rather than signing a new one I negotiated a lower rate on a monthly basis.  It still came to $80 a month and that was simply the next to basic channels package.  No movie channels, no sports channels, etc.  I had tried for 2 years to get them to bundle AT&T wireless internet and they kept telling me it was not available here.  So one day I stopped in at the AT&T store in the mall and talked to them.  Guess what?  It IS available.  Not a great grid so the service is a little spotty, but it allows me to do several things.  First,  I went to Walmart and bought 3 things:  a wireless adapter for my desktop, a Roku box, and an HD indoor antenna.  The wireless adapter allowed me to get rid of my Cricket portable modem.  The Roku box let us cancel DirecTv.  We can now stream tv shows, movies, Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, and a whole bunch more to our tv.  The HD antenna lets us get basic networks in our bedroom.

Costs:  AT&T modem - $100
            AT&T monthly cost - $20
            Wireless adapter - $30
             Roku box - $100
             HD antenna - $35
             HuluPlus - $8 a month
             Netflix - $17 a month
Total = $310
Savings:  Cricket modem - $65 a month
                 DirecTv - $80 a month
                 Total = $145 a month
With a $310 set up cost, we are now paying $45 a month instead of $145 a month, saving $100 every month.

Step 2:  Water
Our water at home is awful.  It smells and it tastes terrible.  So, we take gallon jugs to the grocery store and refill them for 30 cents a piece.  Between cooking, coffee, and drinking, we go through about 15 gallons a week.  That's $4.50 a week or $18 a month.  Not a large expense, but inconvenient if we don't realize that we've used the last gallon and I want to make coffee at 5am.  Solution:  Filtrete water station
This little gadget is great!  I found it on Amazon and for $55 we got the station itself, 6 bottles, and an extra filter.  It is so easy to work, Mariah can do it!  You take the top off and inside is a filter.  Pour tap water in and it filters through into the 4 bottles hooked up to the station.  It takes about 5 minutes to fill 4 bottles.  At first I was a little skeptical that it would take the smell and taste out, but it really works!  We can now keep 6 bottles in the fridge at all times and just grab them whenever we need them!

 Well, I've got to finish getting ready for work.  Tell me what you've done lately to save money and/or go green!  I could use some more ideas!


  1. Nice exchanges, and what a great thing for you to do for the girls (headbands). Great job on cutting costs. I've used the brita pitcher for several years and it works great. What's a Roku box?

  2. Like your exchanges. What is a Roku box? I would like to learn more about crocheting. <3

  3. Nice exchanges. Love the bookmarks. The chocolate one is too cute. Great Ideas on the cutbacks. We have been using coupons finally. They are a little bit of a pain but today we saved $12 on our normal groceries.

  4. Wonderful exchanges! Those headbands are going to make lots of girls very happy!
    The Roku is a box that you connect to your TV and your internet (either wired or wirelessly) so you can stream content from the internet . I have 2 roku devices and I love them. I am still trying to convince DH that we should cancel the basic Dish Network that we have and save $38. Other ways I have found to save are to use rewards programs to their fullest, coupons, watch price per ounces and question every purchase "Do I need or just want this?"

  5. Wow!! great job saving money!! Love the headbands!